Meryl Streep and Ashley Park have entered the building in a very musical way.
In the newest episode of Hulu’s hit series Only Murders in the Building, which premiered Tuesday (Aug. 15), Streep and Park team up to perform a song co-written by Sara Bareilles (Waitress) along with Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (The Greatest Showman, Dear Evan Hansen). The song, “Look for the Light,” is now available for fans to stream on all services.
“It was so easy to say yes to this invitation,” said Bareilles in a press statement. “I love the delicious unpredictability of collaboration, and this was as joyful and undeniable as they come. I am such a fan of the Only Murders and of Pasek & Paul, so the idea of writing together for the first time, especially to offer something to someone like Meryl Streep truly felt like a dream. Meryl was gentle and focused, and I loved her musicality and her willingness to share her process. Ashley Park’s glorious counter melody was added later, and I got goosebumps the first time I heard it. It truly couldn’t have been a more seamless experience- how lucky am I to be a part of it!”
For Pasek & Paul, Bareilles was a dream collaborator, adding in a statement, “We were so fortunate to be able to create this song for the legendary Meryl Streep alongside her. As longtime fans of Only Murders, Meryl, and Sara, this opportunity was basically the most perfectly algorithmic targeted ad someone could throw our way.
“Getting to shape this song around Meryl’s voice, and working together in the studio and on set, was a dream and we are three very lucky songwriters,” they continued. “Meryl not only amazed us with her usual brilliance and mastery of the craft, but also inspired us with her humility and tireless work ethic. While it is unfair for someone to be so wonderful at everything, it’s a basic human truth that we all must reckon with!”
The song came in an episode in which Martin Short’s Oliver Putnam attempts to pivot his sure-to-tank murder mystery Death Rattle into a raucous musical during one crazy night of writing. While the show’s producers are split on the effort that involves crab men singing about creatures of the night, unconvinced funder Donna Demeo (Linda Edmond) says she’ll give him 24 hours to come up with a slam-dunk showstopper song.
Just before showcasing the song for his producers, Steve Martin’s Charles-Haden Savage tells his friend and fellow sleuth that nobody is into the musical idea. Frustrated and desperate, Short tells Streep’s Loretta that he’s happy to release her from her contract so she can take a newly offered part in the Grey’s Anatomy spin-off Grey’s New Orleans Family Burn Unit if she’ll just sing his guaranteed “showstopper” for him, the lilting nanny’s lullaby (aka “Look for the Light.”)
With the cast gathered around him, Short sets up a scene in which the show’s star triplets are crying in the night as their nanny soothes them. To the accompaniment of a melancholy piano, Streep sings, “Hush, little one, let me sing you to sleep/ Moonlight has come, now drift off to a dream/ Sail from the day to the wonders awaiting you/ Out there in the deep.”
As violins swell, the Oscar winner captivates the room with the emotional powerhouse ballad, with Ashley Park’s Kimber unable to resist harmonizing on the sweeping chorus in a tour de force that helps to save the show.
The third season of Only Murders premiered Aug. 8, with stars Selena Gomez, Martin Short and Steve Martin returning as true-crime-loving neighbors who get wrapped up in a murder mystery. Back in April, Gomez took to Instagram to tease Streep’s guest appearance by sharing a photo, smiling wide alongside the Oscar-winning icon on the series’ set.
“Well we wrapped season 3 of @onlymurdershulu -I’m not sure I have enough words to explain just how beautiful this season has been. It has been deliriously hilarious, challenging and for me, an absolute dream,” she captioned the photo. “I’ll post more soon. But I’ll I leave it with the woman I adore, look up to and love.”
Listen to “Look for the Light” below, and watch Only Murders in the Building on Hulu.